Government Growth Proposed in Gov. Snyder's 2017 State of the State

Address included 12 proposed government expansions, one limitation

Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017

Contact:

Chantal Lovell
Media Relations Manager
989-698-1914
lovell@mackinac.org

MIDLAND — Gov. Rick Snyder's 2017 State of the State address included 12 proposed expansions of government and one limitation, according to the Mackinac Center's Director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, Michael D. LaFaive, who has analyzed annual State of the State addresses as far back as 1969.

In proposing 12 expansions of government and only one limitation — albeit a limitation of vital importance — Gov. Snyder's 2017 address included recommendations that may dramatically increase the size of government.

“While pleased to hear the Governor acknowledge that we must address the state's legacy liabilities, it was discouraging to hear him suggest only one reform that would limit the size of government,” LaFaive said. “Gov. Snyder's record on proposed expansions roughly equals Gov. John Engler's. However, the number of proposed limitations Gov. Snyder has recommended is three times smaller than that of the former governor. In fact, no governor has offered fewer limitations on state government during the State of the State address on average than Gov. Snyder.”

Among the proposals were spending more on infrastructure, creating a public-private partnership on wetlands mitigation and spending more on career and technical education.

“Getting a handle on unfunded pension liabilities may help facilitate other important work of state government,” said James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy. “Of all the proposals we heard, this limitation may be the most important.”

Expansions and Limitations by Administration Since 1969

 

Gov. Milliken, 1969-1982

Avg.

High

Low

Proposed expansions

5.6

12 ('71, '80)

0 ('74)

Proposed limitations

2.9

8 ('73)

0 ('70, '79, '82)

 

Gov. Blanchard, 1983-1990

Avg.

High

Low

Proposed expansions

8.6

19 ('89, '90)

1 ('85)

Proposed limitations

2.1

7 ('84)

0 ('87, '88)

 

Gov. Engler, 1991-2002

Avg.

High

Low

Proposed expansions

8.4

18 ('00)

3 ('91)

Proposed limitations

4.3

11 ('95)

1 ('02, '97, '03)

 

Gov. Granholm, 2003-2010

Avg.

High

Low

Proposed expansions

16.3

24 ('08)

7 ('05)

Proposed limitations

3.0

6 ('03) ('09)

0 ('05)

Gov. Snyder, 2011-2017

Avg.

'11

'12

'13

'14

'15

'16

'17

Proposed expansions

8.3

9

5

8

6

6

12

12

Proposed limitations

1.4

3

1

2

2

1

0

1

Proposed 2017 Expansions

  1. Create a public-private partnership for wetlands mitigation banking
  2. Catalyze all Great Lakes states to do more on invasive species through crowdsourcing
  3. Expand the Secure Cities Partnership policing program to more locales
  4. Expand MDOC’s Vocational Village program to other correctional facilities
  5. Spend billions more over the next decades on infrastructure using taxes, fees, bonds and grants
  6. Start pilot program on integrated asset management
  7. Propose a stricter lead and copper rule than is mandated by the federal government
  8. Call on the federal government to upgrade the Soo Locks
  9. Do more to improve reading in public schools in preschool-third grade
  10. Invest more in K-12 career and technical equipment
  11. Expand “Community Ventures” to more cities
  12. Do more on “place making” to revitalize downtowns

Proposed 2017 Limitation

  1. Form a collaborative working group to address legacy liabilities

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